The need for a large-scale Just Transition for workers and communities has never been more urgent as more than 30 million workers have applied for unemployment in the past month. Many face the likelihood that they will never go back to their previous jobs. The Coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis developing as a result offer an important barometer of whether and how we are prepared socially, politically and economically for massive changes to our economy. The shift to the green economy we need in order to confront the climate crisis will require economic shifts on a similar scale.
There have been more than a dozen strikes in the past two weeks by workers striking to protect themselves against infection by the coronavirus. Some have already won increased protection but there is still much needed work to be done to ensure all frontline workers are adequately protected. What do these strikes portend for the future?
The transition to a climate-safe economy will produce millions of new jobs. But it will also require the elimination or transformation of millions of jobs—and any job is important if it is your job. Such job loss will affect not just individual workers, but also whole localities and regions.
As the Coronavirus Pandemic leads into the Coronavirus Depression, our very survival depends on putting our people to work fighting the coronavirus; meeting the needs of all for food, shelter, healthcare, and other basic necessities; and reversing the destruction of the earth’s climate. LNS Policy and Research Director Jeremy Brecher has authored a series of commentaries proposing to do so through an Emergency Green New Deal.
The Labor Network for Sustainability’s new statement on the Coronavirus pandemic
The United States is now the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As Congress acts swiftly to develop relief and recovery packages to address the crisis, we must make sure that they prioritize the health, wellbeing, and economic stability/security of all people, with no exceptions.
In a new series of commentaries, LNS Research and Policy Director Jeremy Brecher argues that, in the face of government and employer failure, workers and communities must take the lead to protect ourselves and each other from the coronavirus and its economic and social impacts. He proposes an emergency program to do just that. It might be described as a do-it-yourself Green New Deal.
The climate crisis on its own is a threat multiplier. Now, workers in a multitude of industries are serving the public amid the existential crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Illustrated by Taylor Mayes of Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, this graphic is one of a series of Earth Day to May Day “Emergency Green New Deal” graphics—and corresponding video interviews by LNS’s Leo Blain—to raise awareness of the conditions facing workers the actions they’re taking to stand up for their rights to health and safety.
Unions and others around the world were just gearing up to make the Earth Day climate strikes and the subsequent “Earth Day to May Day” actions the greatest demonstrations on behalf of the earth and its people in history—when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Now the climate protection movement is taking the global Earth Day climate strike on-line.
On Thursday, February 27 thousands of Minneapolis cleaning workers walked off their jobs and struck their downtown commercial high-rises. Among their key demands was that their employers take action on climate change. It was one of the first if not the very first...